The Wisconsin Assembly approved a bill (AB 343) last week that if signed into law would prohibit health centers in the University of Wisconsin System from advertising, prescribing, or dispensing emergency contraception (EC). According to Wisconsin Attorney General Peggy A. Lautenschlager, the language of the bill is so vague that it could also be interpreted to apply to other forms of hormonal birth control methods, including oral contraceptives.
In an advisory opinion issued in April of 2005, Lautenschalger concluded that this bill not only violates students’ constitutional right to privacy but also discriminates against women students. Further, she argued that by forbidding health care providers and administrators from advertising emergency contraception, the bill infringes on the right to free speech. If passed by the state Senate, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle has said that he will veto the bill, according to the Associated Press.
The Feminist Majority Foundation runs a nationwide campaign on college campuses to increase access to EC at campus health centers.